This old chair; well, it's one of my favorites. It doesn't seem that old, but then again, I still feel as if I'm only thirty-five. Time flies by while we're living fully. So, it's hard for me to imagine, but this old chair has been a fixture of our home for the last 16 years.
It has served our family well, however, I've probably logged the most time in this old chair. For many years this old chair sat in the corner of our family room. From this comfy spot, I had a great lookout to view the wildlife activity in the big oak tree right outside the window.
How many squirrel families have I watched play, chase and gather over the years? The birds have entertained me for hours flitting past the window in and out and onto the branches. How many nests? How many baby birds have crossed this window in my view over these many years? How many varieties, colors and bird languages have become a familiar pattern to my daily life?
Not a small aspect of my journey with this old chair, it has been my companion for many meetings with Jesus. It's seen me in my pajamas, bed hair, and without makeup more times than any other friend in my life (other than my husband).
The arms of this old chair have balanced my coffee cup on one side and held my Bible open on the other side. How many tears have soaked those old cushions? And maybe I shouldn't set your mind to wondering about all the snot from the sneezy seasons and the many sob sessions.
This old chair has been loved bare in places. The fabric had become stained and frayed with use. And then too because of its age, like all of us, its style has become less than modern, to be delicate.
It was time. We had to make a choice. Would it stay or would it have to go? I really didn't want to part with this old friend, so I began to do some research.
According to furniture experts, the chair was made of good bones. With some work, imagination, creativity and financial resources, this old chair could be restored to full usefulness again. It was possible, I was told, that this old chair could once again be a JOY piece and companion for quiet mornings for years to come.
I have a friend who reupholsters furniture. She found a teacher a number of years ago and learned how to take old, dusty, almost ready for the trash heap things and restore them to beautiful and useful pieces of furniture in a matter of days. I asked her if she would restore my old chair, and rather timidly I asked if she would also take me on as an apprentice.
My heart jumped with hope when my friend's answer was yes and YES!
You see, it's not just this old chair that needs some restoration. It's my heart. It's my faith. It's my hope. The stuff of life has sat on, loved on and crushed this old heart of mine. I know there are good bones down in there. This old heart of mine is solid in its foundation. Most certainly, though just living in this world has knocked much of the stuffing out of this old heart of mine.
This old chair has been restored by the work of four hands while two mouths have sung praises to the Lord and testified of His goodness and steadfast love. In the process, a part of my heart has been restored and much of the faith and hope stuffing has been redeemed. Many fears have been faced and overcome in this restoration process.
I'm not quite sure what Father has in store for me. I have so enjoyed learning to restore this old chair. Most of all having time to be restored to an old friendship, and in the process find my old heart is freshly receiving the JOY of my Father's salvation once again. There are more pieces of furniture to restore. My heart definitely has more need for restoration and growth and becoming useful for the next place of abundant living - hopefully for many years to come.
Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live. Isaiah 58:12 csb
Join Kate Motaung and her faithful community of writers over at the Five Minute Friday linkup. Today's word is return. You'll find much encouragement here at the link up. And you might even want to set your timer for 5:00 minutes and write. Join us. Come on and get your feet wet!